“Cabinet of Curiosity” is the (perfect) title for Jeffrey Jenkins’ introduction to the visual compendium of David Sedaris’s diaries: It alludes to the history of the “wunderkammer,” of course (I have a whole chapter devoted to the subject in Show Your Work!), but also, literally, to the cabinet in Sedaris’s London home where he keeps his diaries, his lifelong record of his curiosity. (Complete with momento mori!)
In yesterday’s post on Sedaris’s diary habit, I mentioned that Sedaris averages around 4 volumes a year, but what I didn’t know then is that he usually binds these volumes by season. Jenkins grew up a close friend of the Sedaris family, and writes:
The Sedarises were as attuned to the change of the seasons as anyone I’ve known… I think this attention to the seasons helps explain David’s devotion to finishing one diary and beginning another in conjunction with the year’s solstices and equinoxes. While we’re adjusting our clocks forward or backward, he’s picking out a new diary cover.
I was particularly pleased to discover that the Sedarises celebrated October 1 as an official holiday — I wrote my piece about thinking in terms of “season time” on October 2 this year.